Feb 03, 2012 0 Share

Small Miracles, Mysteries and Humorous Things


Abstract illustration of flower in purples, yellows, and greens.
Artwork by Cody Daniel Hughes-Langlo

Sometimes I wonder why there are some things where Cody’s abilities actually exceed that of his neurotypical peers but then there are some simple tasks that he has struggled with all of his life. Some of these answers I have learned, but others still elude me to this day.

It used to amaze me when Cody would run a fever and all of the sudden his speech became normal. It used to be something that at first, took me aback. Then every time it happened it gave me false hope. I used to think, “Oh! If he is able to communicate with others and be understood he will have a much better chance of being okay!” And then the fever would go away and his perfect communication went with it. While I was relieved his temperature was back to normal, I was broken-hearted when the communication barriers returned. But over time I learned what to expect when this seemingly strange phenomenon would manifest itself with a bout with a cold or the flu. (This is a frequently reported occurrence in children with autism, and one that researchers continue to investigate.)

Another of Cody’s characteristics that both astounds and amuses me at the same time is his sense of humor. There are times when it is very typical of most young men his age while other times it is much more child-like.

He may hear a line from a sitcom on television that would be considered adult humor and laugh until there are tears rolling down his cheeks. If I say something completely ridiculous, his typical response is to roll his eyes and say, “Mom! That’s ludicrous!” If he catches me not looking he’ll steal my soda and run into another room, laughing like a hyena all the way. But then in contrast, there are times when he may find something funny and will jump up and down while flapping his arms and hands and giggling like a mischievous six-year-old. Why is there such a huge inconsistency?

It would be logical to assume that the difference lies in the nature of the humorous event, that a different kind of humor would evoke a different response. But after years of observation I’ve come to the conclusion that the difference in responses is not based upon the difference in kinds of humor. This dissimilarity continues to be a mystery to me.

Why is it that he can sit at his computer and draw some beautiful pictures on Windows Paint or draw a peacock on an Etch-A-Sketch with ease but writing a note within the lines of ruled notebook paper is something he is still working to master? He’s been incredibly successful at the one and yet continues to struggle mightily with the other.

And it’s not just me who takes notice of these things with Cody. Other parents and families who have loved ones on the ASD spectrum report the same type of anomalies.While we have found answers to some and answers to others will be discovered in time, there are sure to be others we will never know!